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34 posts from April 2014

Today's Live Broadcast: 49 Assets

49 assets
Each of the 49 days between Pesach and Shavuoth - the period of "Counting the Omer" - is a priceless spiritual jewel, a propitious day for character improvement and personal growth, as we learn in today's shiur, 49 Assets.

With Hashem's loving grace, today's weekly emuna shiur (lesson) and live broadcast that will take place this evening (Wednesday) at 7:00 PM local time, at our Chut Shel Chessed Yeshiva, 13 Shmuel Hanavi Street, Jerusalem, in the main sanctuary. 

As always, the live shiur is open to the public - both men and women are welcome - so if you're anywhere near Jerusalem, come on by! You can see today's lesson here - the broadcast, as well as our lessons posted from now on - are Mac and iPod compatible. If you tune in too early to the live broadcast link, you'll be sent to the main page of the Breslev Israel website, so try to tune in on time as follows: 

9:00 AM in LA and the West Coast, 10:00 AM Denver, 11:00 AM Mexico and Central, 12:00 PM NYC (EST), 5:00 PM in the UK, 7:00 PM Johannesburg and Capetown, 7:00 PM Israel. As soon as we can, G-d willing, we'll post a link to the lesson for all those who couldn't see it live. If you can't see the broadcast, you might need to download a new version of Flash Media player, which you can do here. We hope you enjoy the broadcast.

Your New Name

My new name
Many people aren't happy with the name that their parents give them, for all sorts of reasons. The bottom line is that it's their life, and they want to do what makes them happy. Mom might have loved the name of Beatrice and maybe Dad thought that Seymour was a distinguished name, but why should their kids be stuck with a name that makes them miserable? Shouldn't they be allowed the free choice of changing their own name? What are the ramifications of a name change?
The Torah certainly allows one to change his or her name. Indeed, our sages point out that a change of name invokes a change of good fortune.

What must we take into consideration when thinking about a name change? See for yourself in my feature article Your New Name in this week's highly stimulating issue of Breslev Israel web magazine.

Also, check out my commentary on this week's Torah portion, Emor. The Torah asks how we look at ourselves: Jew or Jewish?

Today, Monday, April 28, is Holocaust Day. You can read about what happened to my mother, may Hashem bless her, in The Pin Cushion.

Also featured this week:

Rabbi Shalom Arush -  Encouraging Our Children

Dr. Zev Ballen - Jacob

Rivka Levy - The Real Breslev and Back to the Future

Yael Karni - The Invisible Guest

Editor's Choice: Mickey and Miley by Racheli Reckles - learn who your children's TV heroes really are.

Have a wonderful week with bright Beams blessings!


A Nazi by Any Other Name...

Dachau Cremation Ovens
Above image, cremation ovens in Dachau Concentration Camp, near Munich in southern Germany - Image courtesy SFC/

In "Romeo and Juliet" by Shakespeare, Juliet says: "What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet."

Tonight and tomorrow is Holocaust Remembrance Day. If it were up to me, I'd remove the "remembrance" part and simply call it "Holocaust Day". Why? The Holocaust still lurks all around the world. It's ugly and deadly seeds are germinating and sprouting in the fertile growth medium of growing antisemitism.

To paraphrase Juliet, "What's in a name? that which we call a Nazi by any other name would smell as foul."

Here's what I mean:

Today's USA: The Ku Klux Klan, Skinheads and Neo Nazis

Today's Ukraine: Svoboda

Today's Italy: Casa Pound

Today's France: Front Nationale

Today's Greece: Golden Dawn

Today's Hungary: Jobbik Party

Every other country in Europe has growist Fascist and neo-Nazi movement, some already violent, like the one in Poland.

Now, let's add the growing global Jihadi groups, many hiding behind the back of so-called "moderate Islam", in Scandinavia, the UK, Germany, France and the USA.

How many times have the Iranians, Hizbulla, Hamaz and Islamic Jihad declared their intent to destroy Israel? Don't be foolish enough to think that they're only talking about Zionists; that's merely a polite term for Jew. An Al-Qaida bomb in New York City or a Hizbulla booby trap in Buenos Aires is not intended for Zionists - the target is Jews.

There's a concept in the Jewish Laws of Purity: Immersion in the mikva doesn't help someone who is holding a dead mouse in his or her hand.

Why cry about Holocaust Day while perpetuating the Diaspora and being the victim of another potential Holocaust? Why aren't people readingthe global anti-Semitic writing on the wall? Can't they realize that Hashem is telling everyone that it's time to come home?

Do you really want to do something about the Holocaust? Do you really want to prevent another Holocaust, G-d forbid?  Rabbi Yehoshua Fass of Nefesh B'Nefesh is a dear friend of mine. Write him an email right now (tell him that Lazer sent you) and tell him that you're interested in getting the ball of your aliya rolling. He'll tell you what to do. 

The greatest memorial for the 6,000,000 Jews who died in the Holocaust is a strong, truly Jewish homeland. Cherished brothers and sisters, help us build it. Come home now; we're waiting for you with open arms.

Feeling the Pinch

Blessings for a wonderful new week! 

If you step on a cat's tail, the cat will scream. No one says that we're not supposed to feel the pinch when we get stepped on, but unlike cats, we have the power of emuna, which helps us turn a painful situation into a pleasure of personal growth…